Mind your Attitude

Last November I attended an AAPM conference in Sydney and one of the topics was work life balance. As a full-time working mum, I skipped that one with the attitude that unless I have a personal assistant, private banker, nanny and a housekeeper – work/life balance was a pipe dream.

However in the last couple of weeks I have discovered (light bulb moment) it is my own attitude and not external factors that can make this happen. I realise that for some of you that are more evolved – this is a rather childish discovery. However, after many diets, and self help books – I feel my discovery rather life changing. Attitude is everything.

As a Practice Manager, we can come across staff with less than ideal attitudes.

A poor attitude contributes to inadequate communication resulting in the absence of teamwork, an avoidance of accountability, resentment and a general lack of commitment. Considering we spend up to 50-hours a week with our staff, relations with them can prove either very satisfying or extremely unpleasant. As a Practice Manager, we are in a unique position to assist staff with improving their attitudes (along with our own). There are a number of ways to do this:

1. Try to see their situation through their eyes and understand their background, influences and motivations.

2. Lead by example – maintain a positive, consistent channel of communication with your staff.

3. Pay compliments when they are due – it costs nothing and helps build confidence.

4. Offer feedback on a regular basis – both casually and through formal appraisals.

5. Be assertive not aggressive – plan ahead to avoid and/or resolve conflict

We all have a bad day now and again, or have personal issues that can be incredibly difficult to leave at the door when we start work each day. However, if there is an environment of trust and open communication in a practice, a quick d-brief at the start of the day is all the staff member may need to readjust to the working day.

Only we are responsible for our own thoughts, actions and reactions, however must always consider the impact these have on others. It takes many skills to assemble, lead and participate in a unified team – they don’t just happen.


Author: Deana Scott